|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Servings: 6 to 8|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 4g||5%|
|Saturated Fat 0g||2%|
|Total Carbohydrate 8g||3%|
|Dietary Fiber 1g||3%|
|Total Sugars 2g|
|Vitamin C 2mg||10%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
This easy three-ingredient recipe for Peruvian cancha is a popular snack in the Andean countries, often served alongside ceviche or as a tableside snack at a restaurant. The word cancha translates as "toasted corn," and you'll find similar versions of this in other South American countries, including Ecuador.
Cancha can be described as a sort of popcorn, but it's made from a special variety of corn called maiz chulpe. The pointy dried kernels pop when heated, and will even jump right out of the skillet, but the inside of the kernels do not burst out and puff up like regular popcorn. Instead, cancha corn gets slightly puffy and toasted, like corn nuts, and it has a starchy taste that is quite addictive.
This Peruvian corn can be found online and in Latin food grocery stores. It's easy and quick to prepare. All you need is a little vegetable oil, some salt, and a skillet with a lid.
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups cancha corn kernels
2 teaspoons kosher salt
Steps to Make It
Gather the ingredients.
Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat.
Add cancha corn kernels and heat, shaking the pan from time to time, until kernels start to pop.
Cover the pan loosely with a large lid so that the corn kernels don't fly out of the pan as they pop, and continue to cook, stirring frequently until the kernels have stopped popping and are deep golden brown, about 10 minutes.
Remove from heat and toss the toasted corn with salt. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Store cancha in an airtight container.
- Cancha cooks best in a single layer in the pan. Otherwise, you might experience some burning. If you have one that's wide and flat, that's ideal. If not, just do like this recipe suggests—shake the pan and then make sure to stir so that nothing burns.
If you like, you can season this corn in other ways, similar to how you might think about seasoning popcorn but with a spicier, more savory twist.
Try sprinkling any of the following over the cancha after they're ready:
- Ground cumin
- Ground cayenne pepper
- Chili powder
- Lime zest
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
How to Store Cancha
Cancha is best eaten as soon as it's made, like popcorn, but you can store in an airtight container for up to two or three days. But it probably won't last that long once you taste it.